In celebration of 303 Day (March 3), Roland has unveiled a new website that explores the history and influence of the TB-303 bass synth. It starts with an engineer named Tadao Kikumoto who wanted to develop a machine to recreate the sound of an electric bass guitar. From that idea, came the TB-303. After its launch in 1981, it never caught on for its initial purpose and was discontinued two years later with only about 10,000 initially made. Then Chicago happened.
DJ Pierre with Spanky and Herb J got a 303 and started working with it. In their experiments, they created the squelching sound that we now know to be acid house. After Phuture’s “Acid Tracks” was released, the sound went global, especially to the UK in the late 1980s.